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one moderator, jim lehrer, of pbs. >> both candidates saying for months it will be crucial. >>> also, in this half hour, in this first half, a new showdown is heating up. a tree that almost killed, well, mcsteamy as you know him from "grey's anatomy." his wife was awe alone in the backyard. a tree fell on her from the next door neighbor's yard. a big legal battle brewing. >> and the lead singh from the smashing pumpkins. >>> first, we're going to get to the latest trouble for american airlines. a story we first brought you on "good morning america." another flight was forced to make an emergency landing last night. and abc's jim avila has been tracking all of the developments. jim, good morning. >> reporter: good morning, elizabeth. american pilots could be at the bargaining table as early as today, perhaps bringing to an end a string of delays that is crippling the reputation of the bankrupt airline which seems to be suffering one maintenance problem to another. this morning, the embattled american airlines under the microscope again. >> i have a gear unsafe flight. >> reporter: ano
' jim lehrer. >> think i had five seconds left. >> i think since he got the first word, i get the last word. >> reporter: when he included funding to be cut, he included lehrer's own program. >> i like big bird. i like you, too. but i'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from china to pay for it. >> reporter: it was a debate full of numbers and domestic policy details. >> if the tax plan he described were a tax plan i would support, absolutely not. i'm not looking for a $5 trillion tax cut. >> for 18 months, he's been running on this tax plan. and now, five weeks before the election, he's saying that his big, bold idea is, never mind. >> reporter: george, up until last night, the obama campaign had succeeded in turning this from a referendum on president obama to a choice. and they were painting mitt romney as an unacceptable alternative. but that dynamic seemed to change last night. it seemed to be very much a referendum on president obama. and mitt romney presented himself as a credible alternative. george? >> which is exactly what mitt romney wanted.
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